Observations on Spotify

I use Spotify, but not quite enough to want to pay for the ad–free premium service just yet. I'm getting pretty good at not paying any attention to the ads (which seems as if it could be an increasingly useful life skill in the apparently inevitable entirely ad–funded on–line world to come), but a couple just now caught my...ear.

Spotify make a big noise about their targeted ads: better value for advertisers, less annoying for listeners. And yet here I am half way through the third act of Tristan and it's choosing to tell me about a campaign called dance4life which encourages clubbers under 25 to "start dancing and stop aids". A worthy goal, but unless Spotify knows something about Wagnerians that I don't this seems a little odd.

I also notice that while playing music in its peer–to–peer mode Spotify is gratifyingly parsimonious of bandwidth, but when the ads are streaming in my network suddenly jump up to 125KB/s and stay there for the duration of the ads. I wonder why that should be.